How To Do Squats | Proper Technique

How To Do Squats | Proper Technique

The squat is one movement that we will do daily throughout our entire lives. Mastering this exercise will make for an easier life of mobility and strength.

Published: June 8, 2022

Topics: Tips & Technique, Training

Author: Shanie "Smash" Rusth

The gold standard of lower body exercises is the bodyweight squat. It is a great compound movement that uses multiple muscle groups, and when performed properly, has some of the best returns on investment. Squats can help build muscle, burn fat, make you stronger, and take your athleticism to the next level, making you an even better boxer. Here is how to perform a squat correctly.

The Squat

  • Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart, weight evenly distributed across both of your feet

    • Your toes should be forward or slightly turned out

  • Begin the squat movement by pushing your hips backward (hip hinge) as if you were sitting down in a chair

  • As your hips move backward and you begin the squat, your knees should track in line with your toes - knees move outward

    • Keep your chest up

  • Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, or slightly lower

  • Pause for a half-second

  • Drive through your heels and rise back up, squeezing your glutes as you return to the starting position

  • Continue performing squats for the remainder of the set

Movement Key Points

Here are some key things to focus on while performing bodyweight squats:

Feet slightly wider than hips

  • Toes facing forward or slightly turned out

Feet Slightly Wider Than Hips

Lower Into a seated position

  • Hips move backward before slowly lowering

Lower into a seated position

Keep chest tall

  • Focus on keeping your chest tall and upright

Keep your chest tall

Knees over ankles, but not passed toes

  • At the bottom of the squat, have your knees in line with your ankles, not passing your toes

Knees over ankles, not passing toes

Push through heels

  • Push through your heels to drive upwards as you squeeze your glutes

Push through your heels

Breathing Pattern

  • Breathe in and brace your core before you squat down

  • Breathe out as you rise back up to stand

Muscles Used

  • Core

  • Quadriceps

  • Hamstrings

  • Calves

  • Glutes

  • Hip Flexors


  • Perform 3 - 6 sets

  • 10 - 20 repetitions

  • Rest for 45 - 60 seconds between sets

Drop It Low: Applying Squats To Everyday Life

The squat is by far the single most effective exercise that you can do for your lower body as it works for almost every main muscle group. Squatting is not only important from a fitness perspective, but also for real-life applications as well. Sitting in a chair, lying down in bed, and lifting heavy items off the ground all require a squatting movement pattern. This is one exercise you want to keep doing to keep in shape for life.

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Shanie "Smash" Rusth

Shanie "Smash" Rusth is an undefeated pro MMA fighter, FightCamp Trainer, and mother of two. She began MMA in 2011 to get in shape and feel empowered after becoming a single mom. Shanie is USA Boxing Coach certified.

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